Cherries and chocolate are one of my all time flavor combos – Cherry Garcia, black forest cake and those boxes chocolate covered cherries that you can get around the holidays for a dollar or two – are all huge favorites of mine. July is the time when the stores are filled with big bags of fresh beautiful cherries – so it was time to make this sinful cake!
I wanted to make these small instead of a big cake (which you can totally do), because I could just see them all set out at a summer party or wedding with everyone having their own special little cake. I made these in a mini cheesecake pan which worked great! A cupcake pan would work just fine too. Using fresh cherries and high quality chocolate is the key to making this cake chocolate perfect. I adapted the cake from a well known recipe, and it really is the most decedent chocolate cake ever. It’s almost impossible to believe it is vegan!
Mini Black Forest Cakes
- 210 g (1¾ cups) All Purpose Flour
- 200 g (1 cup) Sugar
- 20 g (¼ cup) Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Espresso Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vinegar, I use Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Plant-Based Milk
- ⅓ cup Oil I use Canola
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- ½ cup Dark Chocolate Chips Ground
- ½ cup Fresh Cherries Finely Chopped
- 2 can Coconut Cream Chilled
- 3-5 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla
Filling & Garnish
- ½ cup Dark Chocolate Shaved
- 1 cup Fresh Cherries Sliced for the center
- 12-24 Fresh Cherries Whole for decoration
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray mini cheesecake pans or a cupcake pan lightly with nonstick oil. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk all ingredients together very well and set aside.
- In a medium bowl add the milk and the vinegar. Then finely chop fresh cherries into small pieces until you have about 1/2 c. Add the oil and vanilla to the milk and vinegar and whisk well. The add the cherry pieces and ground chocolate (it doesn't have to be too finely ground – small pieces are fine). Stir well and add to dry ingredients and whisk the batter until well combined.
- Pour batter into the pan of your choice until half full. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Once baked, cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely.
For the coconut cream
- Quick note: This works best with coconut cream that was chilled overnight, but will still work if without being chilled, just make sure to get coconut cream and not coconut milk. Thai Kitchen brand works very well.
- In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment spoon out only the solid coconut cream and try not to add any of the liquid. Whisk on high until firm and creamy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and whisk for a minute. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
To assemble the cake
- Pick out 12-24 (depending how many cakes you made) of your prettiest cherries and set aside. With a vegetable peeler, grate about 1/2 cup of chocolate shavings and thinly slice about 1/4 cup cherries for the centers of the cakes.
- Cut each cake in half with a sharp knife. In the middle place a little cream, a couple of the sliced cherries and a sprinkle of the chocolate shavings. Place the top cake on and run a butter knife around the edges to smooth out the cream. On the top of the cake, spoon some cream and sprinkle some chocolate and then place a whole cherry on top.
- If you want to make smaller cupcakes, you don't need to cut them in half, just place all the toppings on top for a beautiful cupcake!